he has not knowingly sold to disloyal men. He says rifles are coming into the State through other men, but he does not know who they are.
OFFICE ACTG. ASST. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, WESTERN DIVISION OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Harrisburg, August 10, 1864.
Brigadier General JAMES B. FRY,
Provost-Marshal-General, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report:
In several counties of the Western Division of Pennsylvania, particularly in Columbia and Cambria, I am credibly informed that there are large bands of deserters and delinquent drafted men, banded together, armed, and organized for resistance to the U. S. authorities. This organization in Columbia County alone numbers about 500 men; in Cambria it is said to be larger. These men are encouraged in their course and assisted by every means by the political opponents of the Administration. The provost and assistant provost marshals are powerless to effect anything, having no force.
The result of this state of things is a constantly increasing boldness and defiant spirit on the part of the opposers of the Administration, and a growing despondency and indisposition to exert themselves on the part of its friends. The Union men are overawed by the organized power of the malcontents, while many who have heretofore been supporters of the policy of the Government, preferring their comfort to their principles, are going over to its enemies. Several deputations and committees have called upon me, representing these facts in the strongest light.
In my opinion the most serious consequences are to be apprehended should this state of things exist when the next draft takes place. In order to avoid these the Government must act immediately and with vigor. Small detachments of troops have been stationed in the disaffected districts, which have so far only tended to excite the indignation and contempt of the organized malcontents. It will, in my opinion, be folly to undertake to break down all these organizations at once. The attempt would have to be made by so inadequate a body of men as would encourage the opponents of the Administration to commence a rebellion.
My plan is to enter one county with a force sufficiently strong not only to put down but to overawe resistance; to remain in that county until every deserter, delinquent dlion be arrested or run out of the county. When that is done, proceed to another. By this means bloodshed, in which there is the greatest danger, will be avoided, and the moral effect of the complete and bloodless subjection of the county will render success in every other county more certain and easy. One regiment of Invalids, under the command of a competent and discreet officer, and placed exclusively under my control, will, I believe, enable me to carry this point to a perfectly satisfactory conclusion.
I therefore respectfully request that a regiment be sent me without delay, that at least one county may be disarmed before the draft commences.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICHD. I. DODGE,
Captain, Eighth U. S. Infantry, Actg. Asst. Prov. March General